Annual Airport Construction Update

by Hal Davis
WisDOT Bureau of Aeronautics

2013 Recap

If you did much flying in Wisconsin last year during the warmer months, you probably noticed that many of our airports were bustling with construction. In 2013, Wisconsin airports began 86 total airport improvement projects. From new automated weather observation systems to complete runway reconstructions, we hope you will have a chance to appreciate last year’s hard work. Here’s a quick recap of what we accomplished in 2013:

7 – Runway Projects
6 – Taxiway Projects
2 – Apron Projects
4 – Airport Road Projects
15 – Building Projects
7 – Airfield Lighting Projects
5 – Automated Weather Station Projects
7 – Snow Removal Equipment Projects
33 – Other Projects
86 – Total Projects

Measure twice, cut once. There’s no need to rush a multi-year project, and we currently have several going on in the state. Construction on the new Monroe (EFT) terminal is expected to wrap up this spring.

Meanwhile, the complete terminal reconstruction at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (JVL) is in its final phase and should be completed by early 2015.

At La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE), improvements to the exterior of the terminal are expected to be completed this summer, while a two-year project to improve the interior will begin this fall.

Finally, Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) will largely complete its multi-phase terminal renovation project this year, though some work will likely carry over into 2015.

At Sawyer County (HYR), work on the complex, multi-year project involving the installation of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) on Runway 20 and the construction of a parallel taxiway is expected to conclude late this coming fall.

2014 Outlook

Looking ahead, here’s an overview of what to expect for the 2014 construction season: Amery (AHH) and Clintonville (CLI) will be completing runway reconstruction projects, so expect long-term runway closures. Several other airports will also be rehabilitating their runways and taxiways by taking advantage of the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics’ seal coat program.

If you frequent Dane County Regional Airport, expect closures of Runway 18/36 in July and August as the airport begins making improvements for a forthcoming ILS upgrade.

In addition to the smell of jet fuel in the morning, who doesn’t like the smell of fresh paint? New terminal projects will kick off this summer at Merrill (RRL) and Boscobel (OVS).

Austin Straubel International (GRB) is also set to begin construction on a new international terminal for the general aviation community. The new facility will accommodate U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help improve the screening process. As part of the project, several general aviation ramp areas will also be reconstructed and expanded.

As always, each airport construction project has the potential to impact normal airport activity. Be sure to contact your local airport manager to find out if any projects are scheduled for your airport and always, check NOTAMs before you go flying. For more information on past and future airport development projects, including the Bureau of Aeronautics’ Five-Year Airport Improvement Program, visit the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics’ web site at or call (608) 266-3351.

This entry was posted in Columns, June/July 2014, Sections, Wisconsin Aeronautics Report and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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